Cory Sandhagen will leave UFC Vegas 60 with a TKO victory after the ringside physician would not allow Song Yadong to continue due to a horrific cut opened on his head early in the fight that only got worse as time passed in the main event.
The gash came from a Sandhagen elbow that cut through Song’s eyebrow, while the cutter continued his furious work between rounds. Sadly after the fourth round ended, Song was not only dealing with the cut but there was also significant swelling around his forehead and eye, which was a bridge too far for the doctor to allow him to continue.
The official call was for a fourth round TKO by Sandhagen, ending his 2-fight losing streak.
“I hate that it ended that way,” Sandhagen said. “I think he deserved a fifth round. I wanted to see the fifth round. To see whether I was winning, I needed to view the scorecards. That’s what I care about is winning. I won.”
Two of the judges actually had the fight tied at two rounds a piece with Chris Lee scoring Sandhagen up three rounds to one, although none of that matters now. While it may not have been the definitive ending he wanted, Sandhagen caused the damage that led to the stoppage, which ultimately got him the win.
— UFC News (@UFCNews) September 18, 2022
Despite his prowess as a striker, Sandhagen was actually looking for takedowns early but Song continuously scrambled out of position and nearly took the back during one exchange. Sandhagen was able to land powerful shots on the feet and Song could easily have landed a knockout.
Song seemed to have gained some confidence from hanging out with one the best bantamweights, which allowed him to throw his combinations a bit more freely. Song then blasted Sandhagen, threatening to retaliate against the former interim champion. This led to yet another attempt at a takedown.
In return Sandhagen displayed his creative side with his strikes, including the timing of the elbow strike that cut Song across the eyebrow. Between rounds, the cutman tended to Song as he attempted to curb the bleeding that was flowing down his face.
— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) September 18, 2022
After the restart, Sandhagen made it a priority to really control the pace while putting constant pressure on Song as he kept him guessing with a variety of strikes and still mixing in takedown attempts. Because he had to defend the grappling, Song was a little more hesitant to commit, which allowed Sandhagen stay more active on the feet.
Sandhagen was also switching his stances effectively, shifting from conventional to southpaw, which forced Song to react with his own offense. While Song was still effective at moments, Sandhagen was just doing more damage going up top to the head and then digging to the body as well.
The grueling cut continued and Song claimed that his vision was blurred from the constant blood flow. That was enough for the doctor to prevent Song from going back out for the fifth round as Sandhagen was declared the winner in the main event.
While Sandhagen did not lose too much with his losses to T.J. Dillashaw and a split decision, it was still a win for him. He will be back to winning ways on Saturday. Now that he’s back on track, Sandhagen hopes that he’ll get another top ranked fighter as he seeks to begin his climb towards another opportunity at UFC gold.
“Chito (*) and Merab [Dvalishvili] “are the best two men,” Sandhagen stated when speaking of potential rivals. I don’t want my name to be forgotten. Last time, I got left out. I had to fight down in the rankings. I want to fight someone at the top. Give me Christmas .”